Every Sunday, we swear we’re going to pack lunch all week…but then things get busy and we’re back to buying the same $13, subpar salad. (Bye, shoe money.) This week, things will be different: Presenting five exciting lunches that will cost you only $30 to make, plus a few staples you already have in your pantry.

RELATED: 15 Satisfying Lunches You Can Make in Less Than 10 Minutes

lunch budget groceries
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Your Grocery List

1 box quinoa: $3.59
2 sweet potatoes: $2.39
1 bag cut mixed kale: $3.49
1/2 lb Boar’s Head Ovengold turkey breast: $6
1 loaf whole wheat bread: $3.59
1 avocado: $3
1 can chickpeas: 1.39
1 cucumber: $1.29
2 plum tomatoes: $1.19
Sabra hummus: $3.49

Total: $29.42

budget lunch 1

Monday: Warm Quinoa, Sweet Potato and Kale Salad

What you need: ½ cup uncooked quinoa, ½ sweet potato, 1 cup shredded kale (plus any extra toppings you have in the pantry, like nuts, pomegranate seeds or cheese).

Don’t let homemade salad dressing intimidate you: Use ingredients you already have on hand, like olive oil, vinegar and lemon, to make an easy, zesty citrus dressing.

Get the recipe

RELATED: 10 Things You Can Make with Just Olive Oil, Lemon and Garlic

budget lunch 2

Tuesday: Power Veggie Sandwich

What you need: 2 slices whole-wheat bread, ½ avocado, 2 tbsp. hummus, sliced tomato and cucumber.

Pile this sandwich high with any extra veggies you have on hand, or add a few slices of deli turkey for extra protein. 

Get the recipe

RELATED: 6 Lunches That Will Actually Keep You Full Until Dinner

budget lunch 3

Wednesday: Kale Caesar Salad With Roasted Chickpeas

What you need: ½ can chickpeas, 1 cup kale, hummus for dressing, Parmesan cheese (optional, if you have it).

Who needs croutons when you’ve got chickpeas roasted to crispy perfection in garlic powder and olive oil? Make your own vegan Caesar dressing using hummus, lemon and the Dijon mustard sitting in your fridge.

Get the recipe

budget lunch 4

Thursday: Avocado Toast with Turkey

What you need: 2 slices whole-wheat toast, 4 slices deli turkey, ½ avocado, sliced tomato.

Sprinkle a dash of lemon juice and red pepper flakes in the avocado mash. Trust us, it’ll be your new favorite.

Get the recipe

budget lunch 5

Friday: Kale & Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potato

What you need: 1 sweet potato, ½ cup uncooked quinoa, ½ cup shredded kale.

Edible veggie bowls > normal bowls. Drizzle your masterpiece with olive oil, honey and lime (or whatever else you’ve got on hand) for even more flavor.

Get the recipe 

RELATED: 15 Meals That Will Feed the Whole Family For Under $15

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